The Captain's Promise

By Michele Pitman


An allegory on faith/salvation, in which an Army platoon have to trust their Captain to lead them to safety.


Genesis 12:1-9, Romans 4:13-25, Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26


4 soldiers (1 is a Captain)
4 people to do voiceovers.  [It is fine to use females in this drama!]


Green Camouflage gear including battle helmets and rifles.  Leaves and branches can be stuck to the helmets if desired. Black line painted on the cheeks will provide the illusion of camouflage make-up if desired.
Smoke machine. War sound effects e.g. cannons, gun fire etc. walkie-talkie (or mobile phone)

Production note

This drama is presented as a series of  "still photos" or vignettes.  Each Vignette illustrates the dialogue as it is read in the Voiceovers.  The emotional impact and urgency of the dialogue should be conveyed in the poses and expressions of the actors in the vignettes.  Changeover from each vignette to the other should be smooth and FAST.  The smoke machine can be set to release its smoke at the start.  Release just enough smoke so that it has dissipated by the end of the drama.  War sound effects can be taped from any source available and can be played, quite loudly to start with, then gradually fading to the distance.  The last two vignettes could have some incidental inspiring music fading in for impact.  This also means that the voice-overs will need to be loudly spoken or shouted, especially during the first 3-4 vignettes.

(A Captain and his three soldiers are at the front line of battle.  They have been fighting for hours.  They look tired and fearful. The Captain is leaning on his kit with his rifle cocked over it.  He is looking back at his men and appears to be shouting to them.  He has the walkie-talkie in his hand.)
VOICE OVER: CAPTAIN:  Men! We’re in trouble! Backup’s been delayed.  We’ll have to fight our way out.
CAPTAIN: Do what I say and what I do, and I promise I’ll get you all out of here!
SOLDIERS:  [two are slightly uncertain] Yessir!
CAPTAIN: Right!  Blakeney, you have rear guard.  Diamond formation.  On your bellies men      and follow me.

(The Soldiers form a diamond-shaped formation low on the ground. The Captain is in front.  Two soldiers are on each side of, and slightly behind, the Captain.  Blakeney is still in the same spot as in the first photo with a look of angry disdain on his/her face.)
VOICE OVER BLAKENEY: No way! [slight pause] Sir!
CAPTAIN: Excuse me?
BLAKENEY: How do I know that you’re gonna come good?  For all I know, you’ll lead us into a trap and we’ll be strung up like a whole bunch of onions by those blokes over there! How do I know that you’re gonna deliver.
CAPTAIN: Just ssh-up and follow me?  I will get you out of here.  I promise.

(The Captain and his Soldiers begin to move forward.  One of the other soldiers “Jones”, leans over as if whispering to Blakeney, the other soldier “Jerrick” is looking at them and appears concerned at their hushed conversation.)
VOICE OVER JONES:  Just do it Blakeney.  Don’t argue with him.  He is the Captain for goodness sake!  If he leads us up a garden path, then we die heroes, and he’ll get the blame!  And if you’re like me and don’ wanna die, then just look like you’re following 'im; dump 'im if he gets us out of here!
JERRICK: You’re both wrong!  He’ll do it!  I know he will.  He promised and I believe him. Just trust him will you. Come On!

(Blakeney is on his/her knees with his/her back arched.  He is clutching his chest and has an expression of shock and pain on his face.)
VOICE OVER BLAKENEY: Aagghh!  I’ve been hit!  I’ve been hit!

(The Captain is cradling Blakeney is his arms and looking at him with great sorrow on his face.  The others are laying low near by, Jones is looking off into the distance as if to get away.)
VOICE OVER CAPTAIN: Why didn’t you trust me? Ya foolish kid!  I would have got you out of here if only you’d believed in me!

(The Captain and Jerrick are crouching. Jerrick is looking forward but the Captain is looking at Jerrick.)
VOICE OVER CAPTAIN: We’ve almost made it!  Where’s Jones?
JERRICK: I don’t know Sir.  He bolted just as we came up over that last ridge.
CAPTAIN:  So Jones didn’t believe in me either!  He was just keeping up appearances. Well! Jerrick, it looks like it’s just you and me.
JERRICK: I never doubted you for a moment Sir!

(The Captain and Jerrick are standing and have taken off their rifles and their helmets. The Captain is drinking from his flask.  Jerrick is looking up into the sky. He has a walkie-talkie to his ear.)
VOICE OVER CAPTAIN: We’re safe now!  Our boys are coming to get us.  We did it Jerrick.  We did it!
JERRICK: Yessir!  You promised.  I believed.  You delivered.  That was the deal wasn’t it?
CAPTAIN: Yes it was Jerrick!  Yes it was.
© Michele Pitman 1999, all rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any
entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what
purpose the play is performed. She may be contacted at: